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Animals, Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Assistance dogs, for people with disabilities, provide many physical, psychological, and social [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Pomegranate Pulp: Effect on Ewe Milk Quality during Late Lactation
Animals 2019, 9(5), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050283 - 27 May 2019
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Pomegranate pulp, a by-product of the pomegranate juice industry, contains a remarkable quantity of bioactive compounds that can favorably affect ruminant metabolism and milk quality. The present paper investigated the effect of dietary pomegranate pulp on milk yield and quality during late lactation [...] Read more.
Pomegranate pulp, a by-product of the pomegranate juice industry, contains a remarkable quantity of bioactive compounds that can favorably affect ruminant metabolism and milk quality. The present paper investigated the effect of dietary pomegranate pulp on milk yield and quality during late lactation in grazing ewes. Twenty Comisana ewes (150 ± 10 days in milk) were subdivided into control (CTRL) and pomegranate (PP) groups. The CTRL group received a corn-barley based concentrate, while the PP group received a concentrate containing 64.8% pomegranate pulp. Dietary treatment did not affect milk yield. CTRL milk had a greater percentage of β-casein and total casein, while αs1-casein percentage tended to be greater in the PP group. The PP milk showed a lower percentage of 14:0, 16:0, but a greater percentage of vaccenic, rumenic, and α-linolenic acid. Punicic acid was detected only in the PP milk. Total antioxidant capacity (ORAC) was greater in the CTRL milk as compared with the hydrophilic ORAC. Dietary pomegranate pulp increased milk health quality with no detrimental effects on milk yield. Therefore, pomegranate pulp could represent a strategy for improving milk quality and reducing feeding cost during a less profitable phases such as late lactation. Also, dietary pomegranate pulp, as an alternative to traditional feedstuffs, may lower feed-to-food competition in livestock production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sheep Lactation, Nutrition and Reproduction)
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Open AccessArticle
A Retrospective Analysis of Complaints to RSPCA Queensland, Australia, about Dog Welfare
Animals 2019, 9(5), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050282 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
Animal neglect and cruelty are important welfare and social issues. We conducted an epidemiological study of dog welfare complaints and identified risk factors. The retrospective study included 107,597 dog welfare complaints received by RSPCA Queensland from July 2008 to June 2018. The risk [...] Read more.
Animal neglect and cruelty are important welfare and social issues. We conducted an epidemiological study of dog welfare complaints and identified risk factors. The retrospective study included 107,597 dog welfare complaints received by RSPCA Queensland from July 2008 to June 2018. The risk factors considered were the age of dogs and the year of being reported. The number of complaints received each year increased by 6.2% per year. The most common complaints were poor dog body conformation, insufficient food and/or water, dogs receiving inadequate exercise, and dogs being confined or tethered. Increasing numbers were most evident for poor living conditions and leaving dogs in a hot vehicle unattended, both of which may have resulted from increasing public awareness. The majority of complaints were neglect-related rather than related to deliberate cruelty. Compared with puppies, adult dogs were more likely to be reported to have been poisoned, left unattended in a hot car or abandoned, as well as to have had inadequate exercise and shelter. Reported puppies were more likely to be alleged to have experienced cruelty, lack of veterinary support, overcrowding, poor living and health conditions, and inappropriate surgery. In conclusion, animal neglect was the most commonly reported welfare concern in dogs. Due to an assumed increasing public awareness of some types of cruelty, the trends of reported concerns differed. Adult dogs and puppies were reported to be involved in different types of welfare concerns. Strategies to address cruelty to dogs can be informed by an understanding of risk factors and trends in types of cruelty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dog Behaviour, Physiology and Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Life-History Traits of the Black Soldier Fly, Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), Reared on Three Manure Types
Animals 2019, 9(5), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050281 - 25 May 2019
Viewed by 729
Abstract
Structural changes and growth of animal production systems have resulted in greater volumes of manure. Current manure storage methods pose a potential environmental threat. Lessening these issues is a key concern for the animal production industry. The primary aim of this research was [...] Read more.
Structural changes and growth of animal production systems have resulted in greater volumes of manure. Current manure storage methods pose a potential environmental threat. Lessening these issues is a key concern for the animal production industry. The primary aim of this research was to evaluate black soldier fly (BSF) performance when fed poultry, swine, or dairy manure at different rates (18 or 27 g/2 d until 40% prepupation). The results indicated that larvae fed with the control diet (Gainesville diet) were the heaviest (+31–70%); however, for other life-history traits, those fed the higher feed rate of poultry manure produced comparable results to the control. Larvae fed more resource, regardless of manure type, weighed more as larvae (+3–9%), pupae (+22–48%), and adults (+18–42%), developed faster (up to 3–4 d), had a higher percentage reach the prepupal stage (+2–16%), lived longer as adults (+1 d), and converted more resource to biomass (up to 1% more) than those fed at the lower rate. Yet, no difference was detected in dry matter (DM) reduction across feed rate for a given manure type. Based on these results, all three manure types can be digested by black soldier fly larvae, thus demonstrating their potential for waste management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Phytase Supplementation to Diets with or without Zinc Addition on Growth Performance and Zinc Utilization of White Pekin Ducks
Animals 2019, 9(5), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050280 - 25 May 2019
Viewed by 438
Abstract
The effect of phytase and inorganic Zn supplementation was studied in 180 male White Pekin ducks (WPD) from 1 to 56 days of age. The birds were divided into four groups fed the same basal diet (containing 26 ppm of Zn from raw [...] Read more.
The effect of phytase and inorganic Zn supplementation was studied in 180 male White Pekin ducks (WPD) from 1 to 56 days of age. The birds were divided into four groups fed the same basal diet (containing 26 ppm of Zn from raw materials): the control group did not receive Zn supplementation; the second group was supplemented with 30 ppm of Zn oxide; and the third and fourth groups were fed the control and the 30 ppm diets, respectively, both supplemented with 500 U of E. coli phytase. Each group contained five replicates of nine ducks. The body weight and feed intake were recorded at 1, 28 and 56 days of age. At 56 days of age, five birds/group were used to measure feed digestibility and five other birds/group were slaughtered. Zn at 30 ppm increased the body weight gain (BWG, p < 0.01) and feed intake (p < 0.05) and improved the feed conversion (FCR, p < 0.05) of the growing ducks. The Zn retention and Zn level in the excreta increased (p < 0.01) due to Zn supplementation. The addition of phytase improved BWG (p < 0.01) and FCR (p < 0.05) of growing ducks. The use of phytase reduced (p < 0.01) the level of Zn in duck excreta. Phytase supplementation to the basal diet at 30 ppm seems to be adequate to meet Zn requirements for ducks without further Zn additions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Licorice Extract Supplementation on Feed Intake, Digestion, Rumen Function, Blood Indices and Live Weight Gain of Karakul Sheep
Animals 2019, 9(5), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050279 - 24 May 2019
Viewed by 473
Abstract
This study was designed to investigate the effects of licorice extract supplemented to a cottonseed hull-based diet on rumen function, blood indices and growth of Karakul sheep. Twelve rumen-fistulated 1.5-year-old sheep were blocked in pairs by live weight. Sheep within pairs were randomly [...] Read more.
This study was designed to investigate the effects of licorice extract supplemented to a cottonseed hull-based diet on rumen function, blood indices and growth of Karakul sheep. Twelve rumen-fistulated 1.5-year-old sheep were blocked in pairs by live weight. Sheep within pairs were randomly allocated to feed either on a cottonseed hull basal diet (control group) or on a basal diet containing 4.5% of licorice extract on dry matter (DM) basis (supplemented group). Sheep were housed individually and fed for 60 days, with a 15-day adaptation period and a 45-day measurement period. Feed intake and live weight gain were quantified. Rumen and blood samples were taken during the measurement period. The DM intake was lower for the supplemented group than for the control group. The mean ruminal concentrations of total volatile fatty acid (VFA) and acetate and the ratio of acetate to propionate were lower, while the levels of propionate and butyrate were higher for the supplemented group than for the control group. Average daily live weight gain, digestible energy intake, apparent nutrient digestibility and feed conversion efficiency did not differ between the two treatments. The serum concentrations of immunoglobulin A and G were 2.1 and 1.8 times greater, and total antioxidant and superoxide dismutase increased by 1.8 and 1.2 times in the supplemented group compared with the control group. These results indicated that licorice extract supplementation in the diet at 4.5% of DM had a limited impact on rumen function but improved blood immunoglobulin and anti-oxidative status of Karakul sheep, without impairment of feed conversion efficiency or live weight gain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Agricultural By-Products in Animal Feeding)
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Open AccessArticle
A First Attempt to Produce Proteins from Insects by Means of a Circular Economy
Animals 2019, 9(5), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050278 - 24 May 2019
Viewed by 623
Abstract
The worldwide growing consumption of proteins to feed humans and animals has drawn a considerable amount of attention to insect rearing. Insects reared on organic wastes and used as feed for monogastric animals can reduce the environmental impact and increase the sustainability of [...] Read more.
The worldwide growing consumption of proteins to feed humans and animals has drawn a considerable amount of attention to insect rearing. Insects reared on organic wastes and used as feed for monogastric animals can reduce the environmental impact and increase the sustainability of meat/fish production. In this study, we designed an environmentally closed loop for food supply in which fruit and vegetable waste from markets became rearing substrate for Hermetia illucens (BSF— black soldier fly). A vegetable and fruit-based substrate was compared to a standard diet for Diptera in terms of larval growth, waste reduction index, and overall substrate degradation. Morphological analysis of insect organs was carried out to obtain indications about insect health. Processing steps such as drying and oil extraction from BSF were investigated. Nutritional and microbiological analyses confirmed the good quality of insects and meal. The meal was then used to produce fish feed and its suitability to this purpose was assessed using trout. Earthworms were grown on leftovers of BSF rearing in comparison to a standard substrate. Chemical analyses of vermicompost were performed. The present research demonstrates that insects can be used to reduce organic waste, increasing at the same time the sustainability of aquaculture and creating interesting by-products through the linked bio-system establishment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Open AccessArticle
Phenotypic Stability of Sex and Expression of Sex Identification Markers in the Adult Yesso Scallop Mizuhopecten yessoensis throughout the Reproductive Cycle
Animals 2019, 9(5), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050277 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3858
Abstract
The objective of the present study was to analyze the phenotypic stability of sex after sex differentiation in the Yesso scallop, which is a gonochoristic species that has been described as protandrous. So far, no study has investigated in detail the sexual fate [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study was to analyze the phenotypic stability of sex after sex differentiation in the Yesso scallop, which is a gonochoristic species that has been described as protandrous. So far, no study has investigated in detail the sexual fate of the scallop after completion of sex differentiation, although bivalve species often show annual sex change. In the present study, we performed a tracking experiment to analyze the phenotypic stability of sex in scallops between one and two years of age. We also conducted molecular marker analyses to describe sex differentiation and gonad development. The results of the tracking experiment revealed that all scallops maintained their initial sex phenotype, as identified in the last reproductive period. Using molecular analyses, we characterized my-dmrt2 and my-foxl2 as sex identification markers for the testis and ovary, respectively. We conclude by proposing that the Yesso scallop is a sex-stable bivalve after its initial sex differentiation and that it maintains a sex-stable maturation system throughout its life. The sex-specific molecular markers identified in this study are useful tools to assess the reproductive status of the Yesso scallop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Responding to Risk: Regulation or Prohibition? New Zealand Media Reporting of Thoroughbred Jumps Racing 2016–2018
Animals 2019, 9(5), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050276 - 24 May 2019
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Jumps racing involves a higher risk of accident and fatality than flat racing. The wide accessibility of media, combined with alternate views regarding the place of animals in society, raises the question of the acceptability of the continuation of jumps racing. Racing data [...] Read more.
Jumps racing involves a higher risk of accident and fatality than flat racing. The wide accessibility of media, combined with alternate views regarding the place of animals in society, raises the question of the acceptability of the continuation of jumps racing. Racing data and media articles from Newztext and Google news search were collected for the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 jumps racing seasons, during which the fatality rate was 5.8 per 1000 starters. Jumps racing articles comprised 3.4% of all race reporting, and the volume of discussion about jumps racing was minimal (2.9% of jumps race articles related to the continuation of jumps racing), short-lived and related to horse fatalities. Articles were categorised and analysed using rhetorical analysis to determine the main arguments. The inherent risk posed by jumps racing to the horse formed a basis for two argumentative positions. Proponents of jumps racing argued that risks were reasonable, with risk minimisation measures best determined by expertise and care from within the racing industry, labelling opponents as naïve extremists. Opponents of jumps racing used anthropomorphism of the horse to argue that any risk was unacceptable and jumps racing should be banned. Horses were attributed with rights, and from this perspective, the racing industry exploited horses for entertainment. These two different arguments were used to shape claims for and against the continuation of jumps racing, allowing both to be built upon a shared acceptance of inherent risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
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Open AccessArticle
Space Use and Movement of Urban Bobcats
Animals 2019, 9(5), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050275 - 24 May 2019
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Global urbanization is rapidly changing the landscape for wildlife species that must learn to persist in declining wild spacing, adapt, or risk extinction. Many mesopredators have successfully exploited urban niches, and research on these species in an urban setting offers insights into the [...] Read more.
Global urbanization is rapidly changing the landscape for wildlife species that must learn to persist in declining wild spacing, adapt, or risk extinction. Many mesopredators have successfully exploited urban niches, and research on these species in an urban setting offers insights into the traits that facilitate their success. In this study, we examined space use and activity patterns from GPS-collared bobcats (Lynx rufus) in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, Texas, USA. We found that bobcats select for natural/agricultural features, creeks, and water ways and there is greater home-range overlap in these habitats. They avoid roads and are less likely to have home-range overlap in habitats with more roads. Home-range size is relatively small and overlap relatively high, with older animals showing both greater home-range size and overlap. Simultaneous locations suggest bobcats are neither avoiding nor attracted to one another, despite the high overlap across home ranges. Finally, bobcats are active at all times of day and night. These results suggest that access to natural features and behavioral plasticity may enable bobcats to live in highly developed landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behaviour and Management of Urban Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle
Are Behavioral Tests Capable of Measuring Positive Affective States in Growing Pigs?
Animals 2019, 9(5), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050274 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 416
Abstract
This study examined whether the human approach test (HAT) or novel object test (NOT), which are considered as suitable tests for assessing the level of fear or anxiety in animals, are suitable to detect a positive affective state in 297 fattening pigs from [...] Read more.
This study examined whether the human approach test (HAT) or novel object test (NOT), which are considered as suitable tests for assessing the level of fear or anxiety in animals, are suitable to detect a positive affective state in 297 fattening pigs from three different farms. The investigated farms consisted of a barren (farm 1, n = 160) and an enriched (farm 2, n = 106; farm 3, n = 31) husbandry. Each pig was subjected three times to the HAT and NOT during fattening (at the start, middle, and end of fattening). The pigs housed in the barren environment showed quicker approach latencies than the enriched-housed pigs (HAT: farm 1: 7.4 ± 1.1 s vs. farm 2: 57.1 ± 1.1 s, respectively, farm 3: 58.3 ± 1.3 s (end of fattening); NOT: farm 1: 4.5 ± 1.1 s vs. farm 2: 23.0 ± 1.1 s, respectively, farm 3: 9.0 ± 1.2 s (end of fattening)). The same pattern of behavior was observed for the duration of contacts in the HAT but not in the NOT (HAT: farm 1: 83.8 ± 1.1 s vs. farm 2: 6.3 ± 1.1 s, respectively, farm 3: 7.6 ± 1.3 s (end of fattening)). However, due to controversially discussed literature, it is difficult to conclude whether the described differences in the pigs’ behavior between the two housing systems might indicate useful indicators to detect their affective state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Animal Behavior and Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle
Differential Expression of KCNJ12 Gene and Association Analysis of Its Missense Mutation with Growth Traits in Chinese Cattle
Animals 2019, 9(5), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050273 - 24 May 2019
Viewed by 458
Abstract
The potassium inwardly rectifying channel, subfamily J, member 12 (KCNJ12) gene is a promising candidate for economic traits because of its crucial roles in myoblast development. Here, a missense mutation (Cys > Arg) was first detected to be located in exon [...] Read more.
The potassium inwardly rectifying channel, subfamily J, member 12 (KCNJ12) gene is a promising candidate for economic traits because of its crucial roles in myoblast development. Here, a missense mutation (Cys > Arg) was first detected to be located in exon 3 of KCNJ12 from three Chinese cattle breeds by DNA-pool sequencing. Then, we performed an association analysis of this single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) with stature in three Chinese cattle populations (n = 820). A significantly positive correlation was revealed by a reduced animal general linear model and the CC genotype was the most favorable in three breeds. Further, we measured the expression profile of the KCNJ12 gene in various cattle tissues and primary bovine skeletal muscle cells. Ubiquitous expression with high abundance in muscle was observed. Further, in primary bovine skeletal muscle cells, the KCNJ12 mRNA expression was gradually up-regulated in differentiation medium (DM) compared with that in growth medium (GM), suggesting that the KCNJ12 gene is involved in bovine myocyte differentiation. Conclusively, the KCNJ12 gene is a functional candidate gene which can be used as a molecular marker for cattle breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Applications of Quantitative Genetics in Livestock Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Mutation Analysis of High and Low IgY Chickens by Capture Sequencing
Animals 2019, 9(5), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050272 - 23 May 2019
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Based on the results of our previous genome-wide association study (GWAS), a comprehensive analysis on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was performed on White Leghorn and Beijing-You chickens with high and low IgY levels in defined genomic regions using the capture-sequencing approach. High and [...] Read more.
Based on the results of our previous genome-wide association study (GWAS), a comprehensive analysis on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was performed on White Leghorn and Beijing-You chickens with high and low IgY levels in defined genomic regions using the capture-sequencing approach. High and low IgY chickens showed substantial genetic variations. In total, more than 30,000 SNPs were found in all four chicken groups, among which 1045 were non-synonymous mutations resulting in amino acids alterations. In total, 23,309 Indels were identified. Among the 1169 Indels that were found only in Beijing-You chickens, 702 were shared between high and low IgY chickens compared with the reference genome. There were 1016 Indels specific to the White Leghorn chickens, among which 188 were high IgY-specific, 134 were low IgY-specific and 694 were shared between the high and low IgY chicken lines. Many genetic mutations were located in the regulatory regions of important immunomodulatory genes, including TAP1, TAP2 and BF1. Our findings provide an in-depth understanding of genetic mutations in chicken microchromosomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Applications of Quantitative Genetics in Livestock Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Equitable Chick Survival in Three Species of the Non-Migratory Shorebird Despite Species-Specific Sexual Dimorphism of the Young
Animals 2019, 9(5), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050271 - 23 May 2019
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Sex-biases in populations can have important implications for species’ social biology, population demography and mating systems. It has recently been suggested that in some shorebirds, sex-specific bias in survival of precocial young may occur. This may be driven by variation in the brood [...] Read more.
Sex-biases in populations can have important implications for species’ social biology, population demography and mating systems. It has recently been suggested that in some shorebirds, sex-specific bias in survival of precocial young may occur. This may be driven by variation in the brood sex-ratio and/or the sexual size dimorphism of young birds, which may influence predator escape capacity. Understanding the survival of young birds remains a significant knowledge gap for many taxa, especially when young birds are mobile and cryptic. Our aims were to estimate the sex-ratio variation in three species of Australian resident shorebird, specifically to determine: (1) whether seasonal brood sex-ratio variation at hatching is occurring, (2) the extent of any sex-biased chick survival, (3) if sex specific dimorphism at hatching or during growth occurs; and, (4) whether escape capacity differs between the sexes. We radio-tracked 50 Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles, 42 Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus and 27 Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus chicks from individual broods, examined the likelihood of hatchlings being male or female based on the hatching date within the breeding season, and compared size at hatching, growth and mortality of chicks of different sexes. There was no sex-bias with the hatching date across the breeding season, nor were there differences in survival or growth rates between sexes for any of the three species studied. In one species, male hatchlings had longer tarsi than females, but this did not result in differential escape propensity or improved survival. In conclusion, the hatching date, survival and growth of chicks from three species of resident shorebird was not influenced by their sex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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Open AccessReview
Dairy Farmers’ Perceptions of and Actions in Relation to Lameness Management
Animals 2019, 9(5), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050270 - 23 May 2019
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Lameness continues to be a welfare and economic issue for dairy cows. However, the consequences of lameness seem to be better understood by veterinarians and related personnel in comparison to dairy farmers. Prompt detection and treatment of lame cows is essential in reducing [...] Read more.
Lameness continues to be a welfare and economic issue for dairy cows. However, the consequences of lameness seem to be better understood by veterinarians and related personnel in comparison to dairy farmers. Prompt detection and treatment of lame cows is essential in reducing its negative impact on milk processing systems. To that end, understanding farmers’ perceptions regarding the significance of lameness to dairy cows is vital. One fundamental aspect is the underestimation of lameness prevalence by dairy farmers, which is as a result of different understanding of the problem. The same applies to their decision to treat lame cows and to adopt various detection and management practices. All of these shortcomings contribute to poor cattle welfare and economic losses in dairy production. This review summarizes the results of studies that have investigated dairy farmers’ perceptions of lameness and the associated implications on the wellbeing and productivity of dairy cows. Factors associated with farmers’ attitudes toward claw health and lameness management are also presented. Additionally, economic observations relating to lameness prevention, treatment and the adoption of lameness detection systems are also highlighted. To strengthen these points, interventional programmes requiring farmers’ participation are discussed as a promising approach in answering some of these challenges. A review of the literature indicates both the opportunities and barriers inherent in the tackling the lameness issue from the farmers’ perspectives. Such knowledge is crucial in identifying measures on how to motivate dairy farmers towards proper lameness management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lameness in Livestock)
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Open AccessArticle
Histological and Comparative Transcriptome Analyses Provide Insights into Small Intestine Health in Diarrheal Piglets after Infection with Clostridium Perfringens Type C
Animals 2019, 9(5), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050269 - 23 May 2019
Viewed by 562
Abstract
C. perfringens type C can induce enteritis accompanied by diarrhea and annually causes significant economic losses to the global pig industry. The pathogenic mechanisms of C. perfringens type C in pigs are still largely unknown. To investigate this, we challenged seven-day-old piglets with [...] Read more.
C. perfringens type C can induce enteritis accompanied by diarrhea and annually causes significant economic losses to the global pig industry. The pathogenic mechanisms of C. perfringens type C in pigs are still largely unknown. To investigate this, we challenged seven-day-old piglets with C. perfringens type C to cause diarrhea. We performed hematoxylin & eosin (H&E) staining of the small intestine (including duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) and assessed gene expression in the ileal tissue. H&E staining of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum demonstrated inflammation and edema of the lamina propria and submucosa. A total of 2181 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were obtained in ileal tissues. Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis of DEGs indicated that the main pathways were enriched in the T cell receptor signaling pathway, NF-kappa B signaling pathway, and (tumor necrosis factor) TNF signaling pathway. These results provide insights into the pathogenicity of C. perfringens type C and improve our understanding of host–bacteria interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
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Open AccessCommunication
Preliminary Study: Depriving Piglets of Maternal Feces for the First Seven Days Post-Partum Changes Piglet Physiology and Performance before and after Weaning
Animals 2019, 9(5), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050268 - 23 May 2019
Viewed by 456
Abstract
Coprophagy has been described in piglets although its importance has not been fully assessed. The aim of this study was to evaluate how deprivation of maternal feces influenced piglet physiology, behavior, and performance. Eight litters were randomly assigned to one of two treatments. [...] Read more.
Coprophagy has been described in piglets although its importance has not been fully assessed. The aim of this study was to evaluate how deprivation of maternal feces influenced piglet physiology, behavior, and performance. Eight litters were randomly assigned to one of two treatments. Control (CON) litters had access to maternal feces while deprived (DEP) litters were deprived of maternal feces for the first 7 d post-partum. Piglet behavior was quantified for 24 h at 7 d of age. Blood samples were collected from one male and female from each litter at 0, 7, and 21 d for hematological analyses, and post-weaning performance was assessed until 123 d post-weaning. No treatment effects were observed on piglet behavior. DEP piglets had 25% lower leukocyte counts (p < 0.01). Relative to DEP litters, CON litters had increased post-weaning feed intake (0.998 vs 0.901 kg/d; p = 0.02) and weight gain (0.536 vs 0.483 kg/d; p < 0.01). At 123 d post-weaning, CON pigs were 9.3 ± 2.3 kg heavier than treatment pigs (p < 0.01). These results suggest that access to maternal feces improves immunocompetence and growth performance. Further studies are needed to explore the physiological mechanisms through which maternal feces improve growth performance, including nutritional and microbial factors, or the presence of maternal semiochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Environment and Stressors on Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Market-Based Governance in Farm Animal Welfare—A Comparative Analysis of Public and Private Policies in Germany and France
Animals 2019, 9(5), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050267 - 22 May 2019
Viewed by 521
Abstract
The intensification of livestock production and the focus on economic gains of agricultural policy have resulted in animal welfare related challenges. In many countries the societal concern for the welfare of farmed animals is increasing. Whereas policymakers on the European Union’s level and [...] Read more.
The intensification of livestock production and the focus on economic gains of agricultural policy have resulted in animal welfare related challenges. In many countries the societal concern for the welfare of farmed animals is increasing. Whereas policymakers on the European Union’s level and in EU member states have passed specific farm animal protection laws, the existing policies do not always guarantee the welfare of farmed animals. At the same time, the engagement of market actors in the field is increasing. This article explores the development of public and private policies in two countries with very different levels of regulation. By conducting a comparative analysis of public and private policies in Germany and France, the findings illustrate that, although they have different starting points, retailers in both countries are getting increasingly involved in farm animal welfare. In addition, there is evidence that governmental policies are shifting from regulatory to voluntary approaches in cooperation with the private sector. Given that in both countries these dynamics are a very recent development, it remains to be seen whether governmental actors will (re-)assume the lead in the field, whether they will engage in cooperation with private actors, or whether they will leave the task of agricultural restructuring to the market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animals in Public Policy, Politics and Society)
Open AccessArticle
L-Tryptophan Enhances Intestinal Integrity in Diquat-Challenged Piglets Associated with Improvement of Redox Status and Mitochondrial Function
Animals 2019, 9(5), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050266 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 632
Abstract
Tryptophan (Trp) supplementation has been shown to improve growth performance and enhance intestinal integrity in piglets. However, the effects of dietary Trp supplementation on the intestinal barrier function in piglets exposed to oxidative stress remain unknown. This study was conducted to evaluate whether [...] Read more.
Tryptophan (Trp) supplementation has been shown to improve growth performance and enhance intestinal integrity in piglets. However, the effects of dietary Trp supplementation on the intestinal barrier function in piglets exposed to oxidative stress remain unknown. This study was conducted to evaluate whether dietary Trp supplementation can attenuate intestinal injury, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction of piglets caused by diquat injection. Thirty-two piglets at 25 days of age were randomly allocated to four groups: (1) the non-challenged control; (2) diquat-challenged control; (3) 0.15% Trp-supplemented diet + diquat; (4) 0.30% Trp supplemented diet + diquat. On day seven, the piglets were injected intraperitoneally with sterilized saline or diquat (10 mg/kg body weight). The experiment lasted 21 days. Dietary supplementation with 0.15% Trp improved growth performance of diquat-challenged piglets from day 7 to 21. Diquat induced an increased intestinal permeability, impaired antioxidant capacity, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Although dietary supplementation with 0.15% Trp ameliorated these negative effects induced by diquat challenge that showed decreasing permeability of 4 kDa fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran, increasing antioxidant indexes, and enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis. Results indicated that dietary supplementation with 0.15% Trp enhanced intestinal integrity, restored the redox status, and improved the mitochondrial function of piglets challenged with diquat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Horses’ (Equus Caballus) Laterality, Stress Hormones, and Task Related Behavior in Innovative Problem-Solving
Animals 2019, 9(5), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050265 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 509
Abstract
Domesticated horses are constantly confronted with novel tasks. A recent study on anecdotal data indicates that some are innovative in dealing with such tasks. However, innovative behavior in horses has not previously been investigated under experimental conditions. In this study, we investigated whether [...] Read more.
Domesticated horses are constantly confronted with novel tasks. A recent study on anecdotal data indicates that some are innovative in dealing with such tasks. However, innovative behavior in horses has not previously been investigated under experimental conditions. In this study, we investigated whether 16 horses found an innovative solution when confronted with a novel feeder. Moreover, we investigated whether innovative behavior in horses may be affected by individual aspects such as: age, sex, size, motor and sensory laterality, fecal stress hormone concentrations (GCMs), and task-related behavior. Our study revealed evidence for 25% of the horses being capable of innovative problem solving for operating a novel feeder. Innovative horses of the present study were active, tenacious, and may be considered to have a higher inhibitory control, which was revealed by their task related behavior. Furthermore, they appeared to be emotional, reflected by high baseline GCM concentrations and a left sensory and motor laterality. These findings may contribute to the understanding of horses’ cognitive capacities to deal with their environment and calls for enriched environments in sports and leisure horse management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
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Open AccessArticle
Prospective Study on the Excretion of Mucous Stools and its Association with Age, Gender, and Feces Output in Captive Giant Pandas
Animals 2019, 9(5), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050264 - 22 May 2019
Viewed by 407
Abstract
The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) has evolved a large number of mucous glands in the intestinal lining to adapt to the digestion of high-fiber foods. However, in captive pandas, excessive mucus might form a mass and then be eliminated, which is [...] Read more.
The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) has evolved a large number of mucous glands in the intestinal lining to adapt to the digestion of high-fiber foods. However, in captive pandas, excessive mucus might form a mass and then be eliminated, which is often accompanied by discomfort and decreased activity. This event is called ‘mucous excretion’. The causes of mucus excretions in captive pandas, however, remain unknown. The aims of this study were to document the occurrence of mucus excretion and to investigate its possible associations with pandas’ age, gender, and feces output. Eighteen giant pandas were studied at the Beijing Zoo from April 2003 to June 2017, and a total of 900 occurrences of mucous excretion and 32,856 daily defecation outputs in weight were recorded. The likelihood of mucous excretion occurrence decreased by 11.34% for each 1 kg of fecal output (Z = −4.12, p < 0.0001), while it increased by 5.89% per year of age (Z = 4.02, p < 0.0001). However, individual differences in gender had no significant effect on the mucous occurrence (Z = −0.75, p = 0.4508). A monthly change in mucus occurrence was also found. The mean frequency of mucus occurrence was significantly higher in October. In August, time (month) change showed the biggest negative influence on feces output but the biggest positive influence on mucus excretion (seasonal factors were −2.261 and 0.0126, respectively). Our results documented the occurrence of mucous excretions and confirmed their possible associations with the pandas’ age and fecal output based on a 15-year prospective study. This study not only adds to our knowledge of panda physiology but also suggests the need for further studies examining the causes of the excretion of mucous stools in captive pandas. Reducing the incidence of mucous excretion would promote ex situ conservation and enhance panda welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Zoo Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Welfare Problems in Finnish Cattle and Pig Farms Based on Official Inspection Reports
Animals 2019, 9(5), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050263 - 22 May 2019
Viewed by 494
Abstract
The competent authorities of the Member States of the European Union are required to perform animal welfare inspections on livestock farms. The data obtained from these official inspections performed in Finnish cattle and pig farms in 2010–2015 were used with the aim of [...] Read more.
The competent authorities of the Member States of the European Union are required to perform animal welfare inspections on livestock farms. The data obtained from these official inspections performed in Finnish cattle and pig farms in 2010–2015 were used with the aim of estimating the prevalence of the most common non-compliances and identifying underlying risk factors. The prevalence of non-compliant cattle and pig farms was 24.2% and 27.9%, respectively. In cattle, the most common problem was an inadequate lying area followed by deficient housing conditions for calves; in pigs, it was a lack of enrichment material. The non-compliances concerning cattle were most frequently detected in autumn and in farms with small herd size, with tie-stall housing and outdoor rearing year-round. The pig farms with a farrow-to-finish unit had a higher prevalence of non-compliances than other production types. The prevalence of the non-compliant farms differed notably between the regions. It can be concluded that the cattle welfare inspections should be performed with a focus on the cold and rainy seasons and at small farms, whereas the pig welfare inspections should mainly focus on farrow-to-finish units. The data received from official inspections should be efficiently utilized in the development of animal welfare inspection system, with the aim of risk-based, consistent and uniform inspections. In addition, the data should be utilized in targeting information for farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Dietary Supplementation of Moringa Oleifera on the Production Performance and Fecal Methanogenic Community of Lactating Dairy Cows
Animals 2019, 9(5), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050262 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 498
Abstract
Development of alternative forage resources is of great importance to provide necessary nutrients and minimize greenhouse gas emissions in ruminant production. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of dietary supplementation of Moringa oleifera on the production performance and fecal [...] Read more.
Development of alternative forage resources is of great importance to provide necessary nutrients and minimize greenhouse gas emissions in ruminant production. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of dietary supplementation of Moringa oleifera on the production performance and fecal methanogenic community in dairy cows using methyl-coenzyme M reductase α-subunit gene. Sixty-four cows were allocated to one of four treatments: basal diet without M. oleifera (control) or low (3% w/w, M3), medium (6%, M6), or high (9%, M9) supplementation with M. oleifera. This study demonstrated that different supplementation levels of Moringa oleifera in the diet achieved similar feed intake and milk production, but adding 6% of Moringa oleifera improved milk fat content. Two families, two phyla, three genera, and three species in total were identified among the four treatments. The fecal archaeal community in the control treatment was predominated by Methanobrevibacter (39.1% of the total sequence reads) followed by Methanosphaera and Methanocorpusculum at the genus level. The increased abundance of the Methanosphaera genus and Methanosphaera sp. ISO3-F5 species was induced by secondary metabolites of Moringa oleifera in the diet. Results indicated that Moringa oleifera supplementation not only improved dairy product quality but could also potentially reduce methane emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Sulfur Levels in Fermented Total Mixed Ration Containing Fresh Cassava Root on Feed Utilization, Rumen Characteristics, Microbial Protein Synthesis, and Blood Metabolites in Thai Native Beef Cattle
Animals 2019, 9(5), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050261 - 21 May 2019
Viewed by 494
Abstract
The influence of sulfur included in fermented total mixed ration (FTMR) containing fresh cassava root on rumen characteristics, microbial protein synthesis, and blood metabolites in cattle was evaluated. Four Thai native beef cattle were randomly assigned according to a 2 × 2 factorial [...] Read more.
The influence of sulfur included in fermented total mixed ration (FTMR) containing fresh cassava root on rumen characteristics, microbial protein synthesis, and blood metabolites in cattle was evaluated. Four Thai native beef cattle were randomly assigned according to a 2 × 2 factorial in a 4 × 4 Latin square design, and dietary treatments were as follows: factor A included a level of sulfur at 1% and 2% in total mixed ration, and factor B featured ensiling times at zero and 7 days. Digestibility of dry matter was increased when FTMR was supplemented with 2% sulfur. Blood thiocyanate increased by 69.5% when ensiling time was 7 days compared to no ensiling (p < 0.01). Bacterial populations were significantly different in the FTMR containing sulfur at 2% and 7 days of ensiling. Furthermore, microbial crude protein and efficiency of microbial protein synthesis were higher in the FTMR containing 2% sulfur and 7 days of ensiling (p < 0.01). Thus, high levels of hydrocyanic acid from fresh cassava root could be detoxified by a sulfur addition with an ensiling process to become nontoxic to cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Association Study of H/L Traits in Chicken
Animals 2019, 9(5), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050260 - 21 May 2019
Viewed by 681
Abstract
Presently, the heterophil-to-lymphocyte (H/L) ratio is being studied extensively as a disease resistance trait. Through intricate mechanisms to identify and destroy pathogenic microorganisms, heterophils play a pivotal role in the immune defense systems of avian species. To reveal the genetic basis and molecular [...] Read more.
Presently, the heterophil-to-lymphocyte (H/L) ratio is being studied extensively as a disease resistance trait. Through intricate mechanisms to identify and destroy pathogenic microorganisms, heterophils play a pivotal role in the immune defense systems of avian species. To reveal the genetic basis and molecular mechanisms affecting the H/L ratio, phenotypic and H/L data from 1650 white feather chicken broilers were used in performing a genome-wide association study. A self-developed, chicken-specific 55K chip was used for heterophils, lymphocytes, and H/L classification, according to individual genomic DNA profiles. We identified five significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) when the genome-wide significance threshold was set to 5% (p < 2.42 × 10−6). A total of 15 SNPs obtained seemingly significant levels (p < 4.84 × 10−5). Gene annotation indicated that CARD11 (Caspase recruitment domain family member 11), BRIX1 (Biogenesis of ribosomes BRX1), and BANP (BTG3 associated nuclear protein) play a role in H/L-associated cell regulation and potentially constitute candidate gene regions for cellular functions dependent on H/L ratios. These results lay the foundation for revealing the genetic basis of disease resistance and future marker-assisted selection for disease resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Diversity of Parasitic Diarrhea Associated with Buxtonella Sulcata in Cattle and Buffalo Calves with Control of Buxtonellosis
Animals 2019, 9(5), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050259 - 21 May 2019
Viewed by 540
Abstract
The association between parasite isolates, including Buxtonella sulcata, in suckling and post-weaning calves and diarrhea was studied with the aim to control diarrhea caused by B. sulcata. A total of 1100 diarrheic fecal samples were collected from 609 suckling calves and [...] Read more.
The association between parasite isolates, including Buxtonella sulcata, in suckling and post-weaning calves and diarrhea was studied with the aim to control diarrhea caused by B. sulcata. A total of 1100 diarrheic fecal samples were collected from 609 suckling calves and 491 post-weaning calves with diarrhea. Salt floatation and modified Ziehl–Neelsen techniques were applied for the microscopic examination of the presence or absence of parasite eggs and oocysts/cysts. The microscopic findings revealed that 20.36% of the calves had parasitic diarrhea, with a prevalence rate of 19.54% in suckling calves and 21.38% in post-weaning calves. The most frequently detected parasites according to morphological characters were Eimeria species, Buxtonella sulcata, Toxocara vitulorum, Cryptosporidium species, and Moneizia species. In suckling calves, Eimeria species, B. sulcata, and T. vitulorum had the highest prevalence rates of infection, corresponding to about 37.14%, 32.86%, and 20.00%, respectively. However, in post-weaning calves, B. sulcata infection was more prevalent (30.15%) than infections with Eimeria species and T. vitulorum. The highest parasite score density was found in multiple infections with B. sulcata, Eimeria species, and T. vitulorum; however, the score density of B. sulcata when present alone in the fecal specimens was higher than in specimens co-infected with other parasites. The risk factors affecting the prevalence rate of parasitic diarrhea, such as sex, season, housing system, and feed stuff, are discussed. Concerning the treatment of diarrhea caused by B. sulcata in post-weaning cattle calves, 20 calves were divided into 4 equal groups. Group A was given sulphadimidine sodium (1.0 g/10 kg body weight) and metronidazole (500 mg/40 kg body weight); group B was treated with oxytetracycline hydrochloride (500 mg/45 Kg of body weight) and metronidazole (500 mg/40 kg body weight); group C was daily administered garlizine (allicin), 2 g/ L in drinking water; group D was the untreated control group. All medications were administered orally for four successive days. The results showed that the cyst count was significantly lower in the drug-treated groups, and the metronidazole + oxytetracycline hydrochloride and metronidazole + sulphadimidine combinations achieved 98.77% and 96.44% efficacy, respectively. Garlizine had 72.22% efficacy. Intriguingly, B. sulcata infection was associated with other parasitic infections, but B. sulcata mono-infection was the most common cause of diarrhea. Moreover, the combinations of oxytetracycline hydrochloride or sulphadimidine with metronidazole are recommended to control buxtonellosis in calves. Further studies are recommended to investigate the bacterial, viral, and fungal infections associated with B. sulcata infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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Open AccessArticle
Replacing Fish Meal with Defatted Insect Meal (Yellow Mealworm Tenebrio molitor) Improves the Growth and Immunity of Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei)
Animals 2019, 9(5), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050258 - 21 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 693
Abstract
Recently, ecological and economic issues have affected fish meal (FM) supply, the main source of protein for shrimp. This triggered a search for alternative dietary protein sources for shrimp production. We studied the consequences of replacing FM with a defatted insect meal, ŸnMeal [...] Read more.
Recently, ecological and economic issues have affected fish meal (FM) supply, the main source of protein for shrimp. This triggered a search for alternative dietary protein sources for shrimp production. We studied the consequences of replacing FM with a defatted insect meal, ŸnMealTM (YM), comprised of yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor). Growth and immune parameters of juvenile Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannanmei) were compared after an eight-week feeding trial. Shrimp were kept in aquaria with densities of 60 and 40 shrimp/m2 and fed one of five diets in which a proportion of FM was replaced by YM. All diets were isoproteic, isoenergetic, and balanced in lysine and methionine. After the feeding trial, shrimp were challenged with pathogenic bacteria (Vibrio parahaemolyticus). Growth and feed conversion parameters improved when YM was included in shrimp diets; with the highest weight gain and best food conversion ratio (FCR) achieved when 50% of FM was replaced by YM versus the control diet that contained no YM (initial weight: 1.60 g/shrimp; growth: 5.27 vs. 3.94 g/shrimp; FCR 1.20 vs. 1.59). In challenged shrimp, mortality rates were significantly less among groups that received YM, with a 76.9% lower mortality rate in the 50% FM replacement group versus the control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Open AccessArticle
Cow Lying Behaviour and Bedding Quality Changes during Five Weeks on a Stand-Off Pad
Animals 2019, 9(5), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050257 - 21 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 373
Abstract
Bedding quality and cow lying time were measured during five weeks in a normal farm practice (NFP) off-paddock system with no bedding refreshment. Two groups of 100 non-lactating dairy cows were compared to groups of 8 cows with fresh bedding (FB). The cows [...] Read more.
Bedding quality and cow lying time were measured during five weeks in a normal farm practice (NFP) off-paddock system with no bedding refreshment. Two groups of 100 non-lactating dairy cows were compared to groups of 8 cows with fresh bedding (FB). The cows were on a woodchip pad for 18 h/d at a space allowance of 5.4 m2/cow, with 6 h/d on pasture for 5 weeks. Lying times were recorded continuously for 60 cows per group using accelerometers. Bedding moisture content was measured weekly. Data for each NFP group were analysed and compared with those of their respective FB group using repeated measures. The lying time declined over five weeks from 11.6 h/day during the first week to 5.6 h/day during the fifth week (SED = 0.3; F1,25 = 351.56; p < 0.001). The moisture content of the bedding increased over the five weeks and was significantly higher for both NFP groups (NFP Group 1: F5,59 = 8.33; p < 0.001; NFP Group 2: F5,61 = 5.54; p < 0.001) than those of the respective FB groups. The percentage of total time lying when in the paddock increased for the NFP groups, reaching 15% in the last week of the trial. During five weeks on a stand-off pad, bedding quality deteriorated, and cows lay down less, to such an extent that welfare was compromised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Environment and Stressors on Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Characterization of Sarcocystis Species Isolated from Sheep and Goats in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Animals 2019, 9(5), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050256 - 21 May 2019
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Sarcocystosis is induced by species of Sarcocystis, which is an intracellular protozoan parasite in the phylum Apicomplexa. The diversity and importance of Sarcocystis species in sheep and goats in Saudi Arabia are poorly understood. In this study, the tongue, esophagus, heart, diaphragm, [...] Read more.
Sarcocystosis is induced by species of Sarcocystis, which is an intracellular protozoan parasite in the phylum Apicomplexa. The diversity and importance of Sarcocystis species in sheep and goats in Saudi Arabia are poorly understood. In this study, the tongue, esophagus, heart, diaphragm, and skeletal muscles were collected from 230 sheep and 84 goats, and the tissues were examined for the presence of Sarcocystis species by macroscopic examination and light microscopy. Microscopic Sarcocystis species cysts were found in both sheep and goats. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed S. tenella in sheep and S. capracanis in goats. Sarcocystis species were confirmed for the first time in Saudi Arabian sheep and goats by molecular testing. S. capracanis was most closely related to S. tenella, with the COX1 sequences sharing 91.7% identity. A phylogenetic analysis produced similar results and indicated that the Sarcocystis isolates were within a group of Sarcocystis species in which dogs were the final host. Finally, the Sarcocystis species cysts from sheep and goats could be grouped together, indicating that they were strongly related. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
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Open AccessArticle
Energy Concentration and Phosphorus Digestibility in Hatchery Byproducts Fed to Nursery Pigs
Animals 2019, 9(5), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050255 - 21 May 2019
Viewed by 333
Abstract
The objective was to measure energy concentrations and standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of phosphorus (P) in hatchery byproducts. In Experiment 1, 20 nursery barrows were used to measure energy concentrations in hatchery byproducts. A basal diet based on corn and dried whey [...] Read more.
The objective was to measure energy concentrations and standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of phosphorus (P) in hatchery byproducts. In Experiment 1, 20 nursery barrows were used to measure energy concentrations in hatchery byproducts. A basal diet based on corn and dried whey and four additional diets containing 25% of infertile eggs, unhatched eggs, culled chicks, or a mixture of the three hatchery byproducts were prepared. In Experiment 2, the STTD of P was measured using 20 nursery barrows. Four diets containing 25% of the same hatchery byproducts used in Experiment 1 as the sole source of P were prepared, and a P-free diet was prepared to measure basal endogenous losses of P. The marker-to-marker method was employed for total collection. Metabolizable energy in culled chicks was the greatest (4560 kcal/kg as-is basis; p < 0.05), whereas infertile eggs had the lowest value (2645 kcal/kg as-is basis; p < 0.05). The STTD of P in infertile eggs (81.7%) was greater than that in unhatched eggs, culled chicks, and the mixture (61.6, 53.9, and 47.4%, respectively; p < 0.05). In conclusion, culled chicks had the greatest metabolizable energy and infertile eggs had the greatest phosphorus digestibility among the test ingredients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessReview
Providing Effective Environmental Enrichment to Pigs: How Far Have We Come?
Animals 2019, 9(5), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050254 - 21 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
Science has defined the characteristics of effective environmental enrichment for pigs. We provide an overview of progress towards the provision of pig enrichment in the three largest global pork producing regions. In the USA, enrichment has not yet featured on the policy agenda, [...] Read more.
Science has defined the characteristics of effective environmental enrichment for pigs. We provide an overview of progress towards the provision of pig enrichment in the three largest global pork producing regions. In the USA, enrichment has not yet featured on the policy agenda, nor appeared on farms, except when required by certain farm assurance schemes. China has very limited legal animal welfare provisions and public awareness of animal welfare is very low. Food safety concerns severely restrict the use of substrates (as enrichment) on farms. Providing enrichment to pigs is a legal requirement in the EU. In practice, enrichment is not present, or simple (point-source) objects are provided which have no enduring value. Other common issues are the provision of non-effective or hazardous objects, inadequate presentation, location, quantity and size or inadequate maintenance of enrichment. Improvements can be made by applying principles from the field of experimental analysis of behaviour to evaluate the effectiveness of enrichment; providing welfare knowledge transfer, including training and advisory services; highlighting the economic benefits of effective enrichment and focusing on return on investment; increasing pressure from the financial sector; using novel drivers of change, such as public business benchmarking. The poor implementation of scientific knowledge on farms suggests that the pig industry has not fully embraced the benefits of effective enrichment and is still a long way off achieving an enriched pig population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Enrichment of Pigs)
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